University responds to sustainability concerns

Amy Mack & Brian Webster, Co- Chairs of Sheffield Young Greens, slammed the University’s sustainability agenda

The University of Sheffield has responded to claims that it is lagging behind in its sustainability policy, following its poor ranking in the People & Planet Green League.

The independent league table ranked the university as 119th out of 145 universities for its green agenda, making it the second worst university on performance in the Russell Group.

Keith Lilley, Director of Estates and Facilities Management, said the University will further look at areas of its policy, but admitted improvements could be made.

Mr Lilley said: “Whilst our overall performance has improved, our policies have scored less well with comparator groups. This is an area clearly we can improve upon. 

“As the University enters into a period of major building development, students and staff will see that low carbon facilities will improve upon existing buildings performance. For example a 70 per cent reduction in carbon associated with the redevelopment of University House will be achieved.”

However, he said the Green League had not fully taken into account some of the University’s recent policies including the banning of bottled water in the Union.

He said: “The University of Sheffield remains committed to reducing its environmental impact. Unfortunately our performance has not been accurately reflected within the People and Planet League Table and we will be working hard to address this.”

Youth members of the Sheffield Green Party criticised the University’s polling in the Green League, calling it “unacceptable”.

The University was found to have high carbon emissions and low generation of renewable energy.

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